• TNB: Climbing's Big Mistake
  • TNB: Trad Dads and Dad Bods
  • TNB: Do the Right Thing
  • TNB: Big Wall Soloing Sustenance – Cookies vs. Bugs
  • TNB: When Your Rope Falls Off—and 5 Ways to Prevent the Nightmare
  • TNB: Before I Die - What Would Climbers Think?
  • TNB: Raphael Slawinski - Firsthand Account of Everest Earthquake
  • TNB: Point Break - Sharma, Andrada on the Big Screen
  • TNB: Muscle Shoals - Rock and Soul
  • TNB: Naked Soloist is Saner Than Me
  • TNB: The Hard Climb to Heaven
  • TNB: Summer Camp
  • TNB: Suicide in Our Sights
  • TNB: Ethan Pringle's 10 Tips for Sending Your Project
  • TNB: Hawaii Rocks - Totally Aloha
  • TNB: PointGate - Why Comp Climbing Is Not The Future
  • TNB: My First Epic
  • TNB: Eight Ways to Avoid Braking Bad - The Art of the Soft Catch
  • TNB: #Dawnwall and The Creation of Alex Honnlove
  • TNB: Vision Quest - Benji Fink and Mexico’s Steepest Big Wall
  • TNB: The New Dawn (Wall) of Climbing
  • TNB: The Top 5 Weekend Whippers of 2014 (Plus the Comments)
  • TNB: 10 Tips for Jolene Kay, Professional Climber (and Hot Actress)
  • TNB: The Story Behind the Craziest of Rescues
  • TNB: The Risk of Climbing
  • TNB: How to Get Stronger by Doing Nothing for 5 Minutes a Day
  • TNB: Eight Ways to Improve Your Footwork
  • TNB: In Praise of the Weekend Warrior
  • TNB: Joe Kinder Visits the World's Hardest Cave
  • TNB: Celebrating Insomnia in Chamonix
  • TNB: Run, Rabbit - Hermann Gollner, 71, Cranks Pump-O-Rama (5.13a)
  • TNB: Five Best Photos of 2014
  • TNB: Clip Like A Pro - 5 Tips from Sasha DiGiulian and Sean McColl
  • TNB: Five Things Every Gym Climber Must Know About Climbing Outside
  • TNB: Still Jeff Lowe
  • TNB: Moving Over Stone With Doug Robinson
  • TNB: Wheels Up—The Top 5 Climbing Rigs
  • TNB: Is K2 The New Everest?
  • TNB: Things—Besides Us, That Is—That Fall
  • TNB: When Homemade Gear Works, Sorta
  • TNB: The Outsiders
  • TNB: R.I.P. Homero Gutierrez Villarreal - The Padrino of El Potrero
  • TNB: A Short Talk with Sierra Blair-Coyle
  • TNB: Ian Dory, Ninja, or The Craziest Thing I Ever Seen
  • TNB: The Best Crag Dogs of All Time
  • TNB: 5 Ways to Make People Love Your Routes
  • TNB: Hudon and Jones, and Don't Forget It!
  • TNB: Climbing's Tribal Rites
  • TNB: Sasha DiGiulian and Alex Johnson On How to Be a Modern Pro
  • TNB: Is Dean Potter A Bad Father?
  • TNB: Silly Places We’ve Slept - Tales of Unplanned Bivies
  • TNB: Forgotten Hero - Frank Sacherer 1940-1978
  • TNB: The World-Class Weekend Warrior – Martin Keller Climbs V15
  • TNB: Everest Sherpas No Longer Willing to “Grin and Bear It”
  • TNB: Hardheaded Helmet Lesson Learned
  • TNB: Six Most Awesome Jobs for Climbers
  • TNB: The Coolest Climbing Deal Breaker
  • TNB: Sharma and Glowacz Send World’s Steepest Rock Climb
  • TNB: An Encounter with a Legend - Patrick Edlinger, Plus A Whipper Vid
  • TNB: Six Things Every Climber Should Do Before They Die
  • TNB: Falling from the Top
  • TNB: Weekend Whipper
  • TNB: Band of Crushers
  • TNB: Charlie Porter, We Hardly Knew You
  • TNB: Climbing's Greatest Route Names
  • TNB: Hot Women Die and Have Sex on Everest
  • TNB: The Great Tragedy at Carderock
  • TNB: Thoughts On Death, and Last Words
  • TNB: Climbing's Next Big Story
  • TNB: Next Level? Honnold Pushes the Game on El Sendero Luminoso
  • TNB: Jeff Lowe Invented the Sport
  • TNB: The Most Popular Weekend Whippers of the Year
  • TNB: If Ondra Isn't The Best Climber In The World, Who Is?
  • TNB: Storm Years or Typhoon? The Biggest Issue in Climbing
  • TNB: Jim Bridwell Speaks
  • TNB: Honnold's Biggest Solo
  • TNB: Death on Forbidden Peak - Was the NPS Complicit?
  • TNB: Ice Climbing Goes to Sochi Olympics
  • TNB: When Gear Attacks
  • TNB: 8a.nu: The Best Climber in the World is the One with the Most Points
  • TNB: Shutdown: Illegal Climbers in Yosemite—Ninjas or Criminals?
  • TNB: Who is the Best Climber in the World?
  • TNB: The New Courage in a Rucksack
  • TNB: Unsolved Mystery - The Ten Sleep Shooting
  • TNB: The Pad Problem - Honnold, Kehl on Headpoints and Highballs
  • TNB: Travels with Delaney Miller - National Champ Turns to Rock
  • TNB: Jail Food and Booty
  • TNB: Love on the Road
  • TNB: Is Pakistan Safe for Climbers?
  • TNB: Flash Floods, Climbers and How to Get Out of the Way
  • TNB: Climbing's Next Level
  • TNB: Best in Show - Brand New Gear from the Outdoor Retailer Show
  • TNB: Adam Ondra Ties the Knot
  • TNB: Under Pressure - Trotter and Honnold On How Bets Can Help You Send
  • TNB: The Tragedy of Tito Traversa
  • TNB: DR's Crazy Brain Puzzle. Get It Correct or Else.
  • TNB: What Happened To Climbing Films?
  • TNB: Cry of the Colorado Fussy Snivel
  • TNB: Mystery Solved!
  • TNB: The Mystery of Moses Tower - Help Answer a 25-Year-Old Question
  • TNB: No Such Luck
  • TNB: Erasing Midnight Lightning
  • TNB: Mayhem - Crawling, Balling & Brawling on the Evere$t Soap Opera
  • TNB: Watching the Boston Marathon
  • TNB: Chasing the Devil's Snort
  • TNB: Born-Again Gumby
  • TNB: Super Unknown - Austin Dark Horse Establishes 5.14d in Random Texas Cave
  • TNB: Fearless?
  • TNB: The Big Freaking Deal, Ain't Bouldering
  • TNB: Honnold's Achilles' Heel
  • TNB: He's Either Crazy or a Poet
  • TNB: The Fish Cheat and the Prince of Climbing
  • TNB: A Letter from Santa... I mean Sharma
  • TNB: Traveler's Advisory - El Potrero Chico, Mexico
  • TNB: A Year Ago - Athol
  • TNB: Gun Control
  • TNB: What's the Problem?
  • TNB: Derek Hersey's Magic Carpet
  • TNB: The Apprentices
  • TNB: The Jungle
  • TNB: Klem Loskot is Back Climbing V15 and 5.15
  • TNB: Eliminated
  • TNB: The Hurt Locker
  • TNB: The Perils of Sport Climbing
  • TNB: Baddest Climb of the Year
  • TNB: Crossfit Misfit
  • TNB: Eating People and the Real Seventh Summit
  • TNB: Bring It On, Bitch!
  • TNB: What Would Warren Harding Do?
  • TNB: The Curse Of The Bandit
  • TNB: Reality Pro
  • TNB: Chris Sharma and The Art of Jeep Maintenance
  • TNB: American Dirtbag
  • TNB: How Not To Climb 5.12
  • TNB: Project FAIL
  • TNB: The Backwards Future of Climbing
  • TNB: The Death of Progress
  • TNB: The Da Vinci CO
  • TNB: The Philosopher King
  • TNB: Spam Alert
  • TNB: Bad Genes - The Different Types of Gumbies
  • TNB: Mouth Wide Shut
  • TNB: Outside Reality
  • TNB: The Day I Saved Jésus
  • TNB: My Pad, Your Problem
  • TNB: House Rules
  • TNB: Five Things I Don't Hate About Climbing
  • TNB: Metro-Pointing
  • TNB: Beast in the East
  • TNB: Artificial Intelligence
  • TNB: To Boldly Go Sprad Climbing
  • TNB: Self-Destruction
  • TNB: Soul Sport
  • TNB: Nine Pitches
  • Video Spotlight
    Margo Hayes Sends La Rambla (9a+/5.15a)
    Margo Hayes Sends La Rambla (9a+/5.15a)
    Whipper of the Month
    Weekend Whipper: Alastair McDowell's Los Indignados (M7) Screamer
    Weekend Whipper: Alastair McDowell's Los Indignados (M7) Screamer

    TNB: Moving Over Stone With Doug Robinson

    By Duane Raleigh

    Doug Robinson snaps a shot of Galen Rowell for a National Geographic story on the first hammerless ascent of Half Dome, in 1974. Photo by Dennis Hennek. Doug Robinson swung by the house last week. He pulled up with Eva, the two of them wedged in a sedan with the back seat stripped out and so loaded with books and DVDs and gear that you couldn’t have fit one more thing in there, including air.

    Doug was on his way east, driving from California to the Gunks. Along the trail he’ll stop and star in various appearances, at gyms mostly, he said, because that's where climbers hang out these days. "Aren't many climbing shops left," he said with a sigh.

    One of the items he is showing off is The Alchemy of Action. His most recent book, Alchemy took him a lifetime to write. I know this as a first-hand fact because when I met him in 1982 he had already been thinking and working on it for 15 years, connecting the dots between climbing (the Action part) and how the euphoric feeling it gives you might be your body cooking up chemicals similar to those of LSD, peyote and other natural and man-made pharmaceuticals (the Alchemy bit).

    It is understandable that Doug had things get in the way of the book. He had to found and preside over the American Mountain Guides Association, and teach about a million people to climb via his “Moving Over Stone,” a best-selling 1988 instructional video that he’s also now touring with as a 25-anniversary DVD re-release. I watched MOS the other day, and that was to view the sport as a prehistoric insect encased in amber. The climbers—Todd Skinner, Dale Bard, Bobbi Bensman, Jerry Moffatt, John Bachar and others—are similar to today’s species, but only similar. They wear really tight clothes, pull on bootish Fires and have mops straight out of Saturday Night Fever. Is that how we really looked?

    Before and during his writings, Doug invented the Tube Chock, a large piece of pipe with the ends sawed into the angles of a Stopper. It’s for big cracks, Doug’s forte, but last Wednesday he admitted as we climbed a wide 5.10 that tube chocks really “don’t work well.” Better than nothing, in any case, when cams and BigBros were still a decade(s) from the drawing board.

    Doug has always been a clean cat and to this day still doesn’t use chalk. Long before Half Dome went free, he and Galen Rowell and Dennis Hennek climbed it with nuts only, a heady idea back when nuts were basically scrap metal and people wrote angry articles such as “Nuts to No Protection!” condemning them.

    That ascent of Half Dome was the cover story for a 1974 National Geographic and included a shot of Rowell suspended in a hammock, bedding down for the vertiginous night. Later, it was revealed that Hennek had taken a photo of Doug taking the photo of Rowell. Hennek’s pic showed Doug, stark-raving nude, standing on a large ledge that was only a few feet beneath the hammock.

    “Google ‘Doug Robinson,’” said Eva, “and you’ll find lots of photos of him naked. I don’t know if he ever climbed with his clothes on.”

    Robinson in 2014.Doug was of the generation that bridged the old school of Royal Robbins and Yvon Chouinard, and the newcomers Jim Bridwell and the Stonemasters. He’s a hippie (he might prefer “bohemian”) molded by the Bay Area scene of the 1960s when you could freely enjoy certain now nearly forgotten liberties that I suspect provided the germ for his alchemy concept.

    Today, the tie-dye is replaced by a tux. “It was my father’s,” said Doug, who though 67 is still built like an oak burl and whose bright blue eyes can still charm any woman they cast upon. “I’m wearing the tux to the premier tomorrow night of Valley Uprising, in Boulder. They said that they are rolling out the red carpet and I am holding them to that.”

    When Doug showed up to the film he was awarded “best dressed man in the house,” a likely first for someone whose  other formal outfit is his birthday suit.

    Valley Uprising is exciting, said Doug, who noted that he especially enjoyed the animation of a tab of blotter acid shimmering in paisley on Jim Bridwell's tongue, “transforming to his eyeballs spinning.”

    But, according to my sources, an even bigger highlight was when an Access Fund representative hopped onstage for a presentation, and a cloud of suspect and skunky smoke wafted out of the Colorado audience.

    “Doug Robinson must be in the house,” someone quipped

    To catch Doug on his tour, check the dates and locations at movingoverstone.com.

    Reader's Commentary:

    Don't want to use Facebook, but still want to comment? We have you covered:

    Add Your Comments to this article: